Friday features an 11-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
MLB DFS Pitcher Picks
MLB DFS Stud Pick
Friday’s MLB slate features two of the frontrunners for the AL Cy Young award in Shohei Ohtani and Framber Valdez, and both players have outstanding matchups. Valdez is taking on the Athletics, while Ohtani draws the Pirates. Both of those teams rank in the bottom four in runs per game, with Oakland checking in dead last.
Ohtani brings a bit more strikeout upside to the table, but Valdez has a clear edge from a Vegas perspective. His opponent implied team total of 3.0 runs is the best mark on the slate, and it’s a full half-run better than Ohtani’s mark of 3.5. Valdez is also the largest favorite of the day at -250, and pitchers with comparable Vegas data have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.33 (per the Trends tool).
Valdez also brings solid strikeout upside to the table. His 6.76 K Prediction ranks third on the slate, with the A’s boasting the 11th-worst strikeout rate against southpaws this season. He also stands out from a strikeout perspective using our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations table:
Ultimately, Valdez feels like a slightly safer option than Ohtani, especially at a slightly cheaper price tag on DraftKings. Ohtani might have a bit more upside, but Valdez gets the nod for cash games.
MLB DFS Value Pick
The best matchup of the day belongs to Clarke Schmidt and the Yankees. The Yankees have been slumping of late, with their offense ranking 26th in wRC+ vs. right-handers over the past 14 days. However, they can still pitch, and Vegas is showing them plenty of respect for Friday’s matchup vs. the Royals. They’re listed as -205 favorites, and the Royals are implied for just 3.6 runs.
Schmidt is a former top prospect who is starting to put things together at the MLB level. His 4.31 ERA doesn’t jump off the page, but that’s impacted by a dreadful 6.84 ERA over his first 25 innings. Since May 1, Clarke has pitched to a 3.39 ERA and 3.78 FIP while striking out 8.2 batters per nine innings.
Schmidt also grades out well using a metric called Stuff+, which looks to measure how “nasty” each pitcher’s offerings are. He ranks 20th out of 88 pitchers with at least 80 innings this season, putting him between Clayton Kershaw and Freddy Peralta. That’s pretty darn good company!
He should have no problems mowing down the Royals on Friday. Their lineup ranks dead last in wRC+ vs. right-handers this season, and they also boast the fifth-highest strikeout rate.
With all the good things that Schmidt has working for him, he’s an absolute steal at just $6,200. He leads all pitchers in projected Plus/Minus per THE BAT by a pretty wide margin, making him an outstanding SP2 in all contest types.
MLB DFS GPP Picks
While Ohtani may not grade out quite as well as Valdez, there’s certainly no denying his upside. He’s one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball, ranking in the 95th percentile in strikeout rate, and he should be able to generate plenty of whiffs vs. the Pirates. They’ve been below average in terms of making contact this season, and when they do put the ball in play, they don’t tend to do much damage. Ohtani leads all pitchers with a 7.66 K Prediction, and he stands out as an excellent value on FanDuel. He’s actually -$1,000 cheaper than Valdez on that site, and his $10,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 93%.
If you’re looking for cheap strikeout upside on this slate, Lance Lynn is your guy. Lynn hasn’t had the best of seasons, but he’s still capable of racking up monster strikeout totals. He’s pitched to an 11.05 K/9 this season, and he has four starts with at least 10 strikeouts. That includes a dominant 16-strikeout performance vs. the Mariners, who own the second-highest strikeout rate vs. right-handers this season. The only team that has been worse than Seattle? That would be the Twins, who Lynn gets the pleasure of facing on Friday. They’ve whiffed in 27.4% of at-bats against right-handed pitchers, and Lynn’s K Prediction of 7.38 trails only Ohtani on Friday’s slate. He’s also projected for less than 16% ownership, so he shouldn’t be very chalky either.
If you want to get really cheap at pitcher, Alec Marsh has some appeal at $5,000 on DraftKings. It’s no secret that the Yankees’ lineup has been dreadful of late, and they’ve been mowed down by some uninspiring pitchers:
Marsh is the Royals’ No. 3 prospect, and his results to start his MLB tenure have been a mixed bag. He owns just a 5.40 ERA through his first 15 innings, but he’s also managed a 12.60 K/9. Given how poor the Yankees’ offense has been, would it really be a shock if Marsh pitched a gem? His Vegas data is obviously subpar, but he’s an interesting contrarian option given his price tag, matchup, and strikeout upside.
MLB DFS Hitter Picks
With the Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into DFS rosters.
Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 300 lineups.
The top DraftKings stack in our MLB Models when generated by projected points using THE BAT belongs to the Arizona Diamondbacks:
The Diamondbacks will head to the Great American Ball Park on Friday to start a series vs. the Reds, giving them massive DFS appeal. The Great American Ball Park might not be Coors Field, but it’s as close as it gets. In fact, it’s actually better than Coors in one crucial area: home runs. No stadium has been more generous with homers over the past three seasons than Cincinnati’s home ballpark per Statcast Park Factors.
That’s great news for the Diamondbacks. They’ve been pretty good to begin with this season, ranking ninth in the league in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers. They’re also eighth in ISO in that split, so their lineup is capable of doing damage.
The DBacks are implied for 5.5 runs against Ben Lively, which is the third-highest mark on the slate. Lively has pitched to a respectable 3.72 ERA this season, but his xERA and FIP are both at 4.78 or higher. He’s also been far worse since moving to the starting rotation, posting a 5.11 FIP in that role.
The Diamondbacks also bring a bit of added upside thanks to their ability to run the bases. Corbin Carroll and Jake McCarthy both have at least 22 steals on the year, so they can pick up fantasy points in a few different ways.
Stacking the Diamondbacks in the above 2-3-4-5-7 manner should help a bit with ownership, and it allows you to fit McCarthy in as the No. 7 batter. He leads all hitters in projected DraftKings Plus/Minus per THE BAT, so that seems like a solid decision.
Other MLB DFS Hitter Picks
For this example, we created a 50/50 blend with THE BAT X and the FantasyLabs projections to pinpoint some hitters that stand out.
Alex Kirilloff 1B ($2,200 DraftKings, $2,900 FanDuel) Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox (Lance Lynn)
Kiriloff is priced near the minimum at $2,200 on DraftKings, which undersells the amount of upside he brings to the table. He’s expected to serve as the Twins’ cleanup hitter, and he owns a .377 wOBA against right-handed pitchers this season. Lynn is capable of racking up strikeouts, but when batters have made contact against him, it has led to good things. He owns a 6.06 ERA on the year and ranks in the 14th percentile in barrel rate. He’s surrendered an average of 1.99 homers per nine innings, and the vast majority of that damage has come against left-handed hitters. Lefties have posted a .437 wOBA against Lynn this season, so this is a great spot to target Kirilloff.
Jeff McNeil 2B/OF ($3,400 DraftKings, $2,500 FanDuel) New York Mets at Boston Red Sox (Kutter Crawford)
The Mets get a significant park upgrade on Friday thanks to a matchup vs. the Red Sox at Fenway Park. McNeil has been mired in a deep slump, but he’s expected to bat third for a Mets’ squad implied for 4.8 runs. That makes him a solid value at $2,500. McNeil also posted an elite 143 wRC+ against right-handers last year, and he has a mark of at least 131 in four of his six MLB seasons. The guy can flat-out hit, and it’s only a matter of time before he turns things around. He’s underpriced on FanDuel, where he has the flexibility to be used at second base or in the outfield.
Eugenio Suarez 3B ($2,800 DraftKings, $2,900 FanDuel) Seattle Mariners vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Yusei Kikuchi)
The Mariners are an interesting contrarian stack target on Friday. Their Vegas data is uninspiring, but their projected lineup has made outstanding contact against southpaws this season (via PlateIQ):
Seven of their nine projected starters have a hard-hit rate of at least 50% in that split, including Suarez at 59.1%. Suarez has also been extremely productive against southpaws for his career, posting a 127 wRC+ with a .227 ISO. He’s a solid buy-low target at $2,800 on DraftKings.